colten-boushie-gerald-stanley-side-by-side
© Facebook/Liam Richards/Canadian Press
Colten Boushie, left, was fatally shot in August 2016. Gerald Stanley, right, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
On the afternoon of August 9, 2016, 22-year-old Colten Boushie died as a result of being shot in the back of the head.

The man who pulled the trigger was 56-year-old Gerald Stanley, a cattle farmer in southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. Stanley was charged by the RCMP with second degree murder.

When his trial came to an end 3 days ago, Gerald Stanley was acquitted of all charges by a 12-person jury.

What events led to the altercation between the two men and what exactly transpired between them, resulting in Boushie's tragic demise, is a matter of speculation, as there was some conflicting witness testimony throughout the trial.

Some of the facts that have been established so far:

  • Gerald Stanley and his son Sheldon were repairing a fence on their farm, when a grey Ford SUV occupied by Boushie and 4 other adults from the Red Pheasant First Nation Reserve drove onto their private property.
  • From their own reports, the 5 occupants of the car had been drinking heavily during the day and had been driving around looking to steal vehicles and other items from neighbouring farms.
  • When one of the occupants exited the SUV and attempted to steal an ATV belonging to the Stanleys, Gerald and his son intervened, trying to stop the fleeing vehicle by breaking a rear tail light and smashing the windshield with a hammer.
  • The SUV smashed into a stationary car parked on the property and the driver and another occupant in the front seat fled on foot. At some point during the confrontation, Gerald Stanley went into his garage to grab a pistol and fired 2 warning shots in the air.
  • When Colten Boushie climbed into the front seat of the SUV with the intention of driving away, Gerald Stanley reached inside the cab of the vehicle to remove the keys from the ignition with one hand while holding the pistol in the other.
  • The gun discharged and a bullet struck Boushie in the back of the head, killing him instantly.
stanley farm boushie killing
© RCMP
This aerial map of the Stanley farm created by the RCMP shows the path of the SUV going into the farm in red and its path while attempting to leave in blue. The gold truck is in the centre of the map.
From the very beginning, Gerald Stanley maintained his innocence, claiming that the gun went off by accident and that he never had any intention of killing Colten. The situation was tense, confusing and unfolded rapidly, with emotions running high. At one point Stanley feared that his wife (who had been mowing the lawn) had been run over by the SUV and was trapped under the vehicle.

The lawyers for the prosecution wove a different narrative, claiming that Stanley grabbed the gun with the intention of killing Boushie, hence the crown's levelling a charge of second degree murder against him. The trial lasted 2 weeks and the jury deliberated for over 15 hours, eventually coming to a decision of "not guilty" on all counts.

What is noteworthy about the jury's verdict is that they could have found Stanley guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, which is the unintentional killing of another person, but did not. They acquitted him completely of any wrongdoing.

Racism versus Personal Responsibility

The outcry among the SJW progressive left has been vocal and swift, with even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cadre of progressive ministers joining in outrage.

stanley boushie killing
© RCMP
Meechance admits to getting on this ATV on the Stanley farm. Sheldon Stanley said he began moving toward the group in the SUV when he heard the ATV start up.
With thousands now protesting the verdict around the country, many are railing about the flaws in the Canadian justice system, systematic unfair treatment of aboriginal peoples by the courts, and the failure of society in general for allowing such open and unabashed racism to influence the verdict.

Why? Because the 12-member jury was composed entirely of white people.

That's how the predominantly leftist Canadian media is likely to spin it anyway.

The reality of the situation is more complex, however, and far from being as ideologically cut-and-dried as the protesting social justice warriors would have you believe.

What the jury did was carefully weigh the evidence in an informed and objective way, and after a long period of deliberation came to a conclusion that was logical and just in their minds. In the end, the jury must have been more convinced by the overall consistent testimony of Gerald Stanley and his family members, compared with the sketchy and often inconsistent testimony of the 4 other occupants of the SUV.

That is the only reasonable conclusion as to why the jury reached the verdict they did. To insist that all 12 members of the jury were motivated by 'systemic unconscious racism' is manipulative and patently absurd.

What they saw was a terrified man in the middle of a crazy, unstable situation, caught in a whirlwind of commotion, fearing for the safety of his family, acting without thinking in a way to protect his loved ones against an apparent threat, and which, without intending any actual harm, resulted in the accidental death of one of the participants.

That Gerald Stanley's hand was on the gun when it was fired is not in question. This unfortunate event is something that he will carry with him for the rest of his days as a newly-acquitted man. He didn't ask to be put into that situation and is just as much of a victim of circumstance as the young man who died. May his conscience be punishment enough.

Despite all moralistic progressive hand-wringing to the contrary, Colten Boushie, as a result of his actions, must bear the lion's share of responsibility for his own demise. At any point during the afternoon's activities, there were multiple opportunities for him to make a different choice, one that didn't end in such tragedy and violence.

He could have said no to getting drunk with his friends. He could have refused to get in the SUV to go on a neighbourhood crime spree. He could have gotten out of the vehicle at any time, or actively endeavoured to stop his friends from entering Gerald Stanley's farmyard. He could have done any number if things to avoid his fate, but he didn't.

No matter what a person's background happens to be, everyone must be held accountable for their actions. Having a different culture or skin colour does not absolve one from personal responsibility. Young men like Colten Boushie know the difference between right and wrong. And by willfully acting against what he knew to be right, he paid the ultimate price.

By any interpretation, the events that transpired on that rural property resulted in an awful tragedy. A young indigenous man, no matter how careless and reckless his actions in retrospect, ultimately lost his life. And a simple Saskatchewan farmer, who was just minding his own business, must forever live with the burden of having accidentally pulled the trigger.

The jury made the right decision. The rule of law in Canada still functions properly (for now). Justice was served.